COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) — The giraffe calf born last week at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has been separated from her mother for specialized medical care, after a health scare on Wednesday.
The calf, known for now as #200, was found splayed in her stall Wednesday morning.
“Splaying means that her legs had gone out from underneath her in an unnatural way,” officials explained. “This can be anywhere from not very serious and treatable to life-threatening.”
“We just want to prepare people for that,” officials said on Facebook.
“We don’t know why it happened but we’re doing everything we can to help her,” officials said on Facebook. “We have all our top people on this.”
In the morning, the mother, Mizuki, was kept in a stall nearby and given one of her favorite treats to keep her occupied, but officials said she had been “checking in” on her calf every so often.
Officials said they were keeping mom in “visual contact” with her calf.
The calf was treated for low blood sugar at about 9:45 a.m.
Her eyes was covered with a towel and she had cotton in her ears to minimize the stress from all the sights and sounds.
“There was initially a lot of improvement,” officials said, but at 11 a.m. officials said the calf’s blood sugar had dropped again. She was given more sugar solution.
At 11:45 a.m., officials said her blood sugar had been stabilized.
They gave her a bottle and decided to see she if she was able to stand.
Crews filled a stable with sand to give the calf better footing.
Before trying to get her to stand, the staff did some x-rays to see if she suffered any bone damage or dislocations.
The x-rays showed no signs of damage so crews carried her to the stall filled with sand, stood her up and helped her support her weight.
Inside the sand-filled stall, the staff tried to give her a bottle but she wasn’t interested, officials said.
At about 12:45 p.m., with staff supporting her with a towel under her ribs, the calf started to take a few steps.
At about 1:30 p.m., the the calf was standing and walking on her own.
She was reunited with her mother and immediately tried to nurse.
The staff continued to monitor her for any problems and later said she showed signs of weakness again.
Twice the calf was bumped by her mother and splayed again, officials said.
“We have decided it is in the best interest of the calf that she be separated from Muziki for now, and she will be hand-reared by our CMZoo staff,” officials said at about 5:30 p.m. “She has been moved to the newly created sand stall, which is behind the birth stall, because it is more quiet there.”
Officials emphasized that the calf was stronger than she was in the morning, but said she would need to be bottle-fed and special care.
The president and CEO of the zoo said he and the head veterinarian would be spending the night with the calf, trying to keep her from standing up to prevent her from falling and splaying again.
The staff said they would provide an update on the calf on Thursday morning.